Emphasis on safety of equipment continues to grow and present regulations require that every motor carrier shall systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control (49 CFR 396.3). The full text of the DOT inspection requirements can be found in the DOT regulations section, page 602 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations pocketbook.
Maintenance is a part of the cost of doing business. Every fleet has a major investment in its equipment. The equipment must operate in in order for the fleet to stay in business. Whether or not the equipment operates efficiently has a major impact on the profitability of the entire operation. It has been proven that PM affects the following areas:
- PM is a major factor in promoting safety on the highways. A well-maintained truck/trailer is a safer truck/trailer. PM alerts all personnel to potentially hazardous conditions, i.e. equipment failure, and it facilitates the record keeping required for compliance with regulations. Safer trucks/trailers:
– Prevent accidents
– Promote driver morale, loyalty, confidence, and pride
– Create a favorable public image for the industry in general and good image for the company
– Have fewer breakdowns and delays
– May play a greater role in determining insurance rates
- PM keeps and prolongs equipment life. Today’s economy requires getting the most out of what one has. Narrower profit margins mean that money to replace older equipment often isn’t there; so the truck must continue to run economically as it ages. Because component replacement in older vehicles is trickier to schedule, PM is a big help because it monitors the vehicles closely.
- PM reduces unscheduled downtime. An idle truck/trailer makes no money; minimizing downtime means a truck/trailer is more productive. Customers are happy with reliable service and drivers aren’t kept waiting for vehicles to get out on the road.
- PM reduces unscheduled repairs and the higher costs relating to them.
In summary, a good PM program directly lowers repair frequency and lowers repair costs.